Before I begin, let me clarify that I take Governor LePage’s racially charged rhetoric very seriously. It’s hard not to when my family has been declared the enemy. As I explained to someone who contacted me about a recent post, I’ve made myself cringe more than once as LePage’s conduct has continued.

The most cringeworthy thought? Thank goodness my boys are so fair. What an awful thing to contemplate, especially considering they have both expressed at different times growing up that they wished they were darker.

They’re both proud of who they are and always felt safe about their mixed-raced status here in Maine. How dare our governor jeopardize that sense of safety and well-being, you know?

When I read the Washington Post article declaring our governor to be unhinged, I was curious what their readers were thinking, so I hit the comment button at the end of the editorial. There were 800+ comments, and as seriously as I take this situation, some of them tickled my funny bone.

Okay, some were downright hilarious.  Like someone registered as UJ said:

He needs to build a wall


and make Connecticut and New York pay for it!

Similarly, Ree88 asked:

Has Gov. LePage considered building a Wall Around Maine ?

A really tall wall ?

Maybe have Smoothie Smooth and Shifty Money pay for it ?

Of course, there was a plethora of comments drawing parallels between LePage and Trump and wondering what role he might play in a Trump administration. Questions about how someone like that came to be elected were abundant, as were references to George Wallace and racial issues in the deep south.

There also appeared to be at least a handful of Mainers who tried to explain the three-way gubernatorial races that resulted in his victories. These Mainers also pledged that not all Mainers share the governor’s views and his behavior is not reflexive of most of the state’s population.

1toughlady also came to Mainers’ defense, but not LePage’s.  Her words:

I went to summer camp in Maine for many years, and loved it. It’s a beautiful state and most Mainers are terrific people … he’s not worthy to lead them.

Some comments needed to come with a dose of aloe for the burn, like noaxe397 posited:

Why no economic boycott of the state?

Oh, wait, you can’t boycott something a state doesn’t have, like an economy.

bob33 asked, “As Maine goes so goes the nation?” To which astabear replied, “God help us.”

And pecos45 ended a comment suggesting Mainers need mental health counseling because we elected LePage by asking: “Has everyone in Maine lost their freaking minds???”

There were at least three commenters who seemed to be from Maine, and they came to LePage’s defense. These comments were not well-received and paled in comparison to such slams as Deadeye Nick stating, “Well I hope he can’t get heah from theah,” prompting an “Ayuh” from a commenter called, upstairs shaving.

My fav, though, came from Jack Pumpkin:

There are a ton of unhinged people in the world. To be so unhinged that you get your own Post editorial is really impressive.

Now, I’m the first to gripe about out of state influence in our body politic, and I didn’t appreciate GQ’s Drew Magary sticking his nose into our LePage mess anymore than I appreciate the Washington Post doing so. However, Jack Pumpkin has a good point, a point that should give Maine Republicans who are reticent to formally LePage something to think about.

Aside from his racially charged comments being factually wrong, aside from his racially charged comments compromising my family’s safety and well-being, his racially charged comments aren’t helping the addiction epidemic or our economy. It’s too bad we’re not getting this level of attention for the epidemic at the heart of the rhetoric, itself.

That kind of attention could help to raise awareness and funds and prompt Congressional action.

It’s also too bad we’re not garnering that level of national attention for a growing and diversifying economy, but as noaxe397 reminds us, we’re still working on that.  Or we should be working on that except our political climate under this administration has become a quagmire sucking the life out of any hope for major policy progress.

I do wish our elected officials could come together and find a way to formally address our governor’s conduct. I’m guessing pecos45 isn’t the only person in the country or around the world wondering if we’ve all lost our freaking minds.

Patricia Callahan

Trish is a writer who lives in Augusta. She has worked professionally in education and social services.